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President Pranab Mukherjee again calls for preserving plural character of India

Pranab-Mukherjee

New Delhi: President Pranab Mukherjee on Saturday once again called for preserving the multiplicity and pluralistic character of the country and said India has thrived due to its power of assimilation and tolerance.

The President, who had on a number of occasions spoken against growing intolerance in the last three weeks, was speaking at the Golden Jubilee celebrations of Delhi High Court here.

“Our country has thrived due to its power of assimilation and tolerance. Our pluralistic character has stood the test of time. Our ancient civilisation has over the centuries accommodated our diversities.

“Multiplicity is our collective strength which must be preserved at all costs. It finds reflection in the various provisions of our Constitution,” Mukherjee said at the function which was attended by Chief Justice of India HL Dattu, Chief Justice of Delhi High Court G Rohini, Lt Governor of Delhi Najeeb Jung and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

In the wake of the Dadri lynching and subsequent incidents, the President had asked a question whether tolerance and acceptance of dissent are on the wane in the country during a function at his home town at Suri in West Bengal on October 19.

This was followed by an appeal to people for practising tolerance and to accept differences while respecting dissent.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had also endorsed the President’s remarks and asked people to ignore rabble rousing by leaders and fringe elements.

The President’s appeals came against the backdrop of lynching incident in Dadri in which a Muslim was killed on suspicion of eating beef, and a string of incidents like the one in Mumbai where BJP ally Shiv Sena forced cancellation of a music concert by Pakistani legend Ghulam Ali and talks between Indian and Pakistani cricket board Chiefs and blackened the face of Sudheendra Kulkarni.

The killing of a truck conductor in Udhampur and a man in Himachal Pradesh on suspicion of cow smuggling for slaughter have also raised political temperature in the country that had triggered controversial statements by some BJP leaders.

PTI